Saturday, June 18, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 6/18/11

Quote of the Week: Nothing beats dead Indians, didn’t you see Poltergeist? (Jamie, The Killing)

Song of the Week: I Won't Back Down – Johnny Cash (Memphis Beat)

Big News of the Week: Weiner Out: Our long national nightmare is over as sexting congressman Anthony Weiner of New York resigned this week, and as if the circus around him was not big enough already, someone on Howard Stern’s payroll took it to another level by shouting more seeder questions during his press conference saying he was stepping down. But looking on the bright side, didn’t Eliot Spitzer recently lose a co-host for his CNN show; maybe he is hiring a replacement.

The Killing: After the borefest that was the last episode and the complete start from scratch after clearing of the teacher, I was almost out on The Killing. The show started with such promise but squandered that away over the last month and a half, but I am almost back in after this week’s episode. The case finally kicked into high gear as we learn of Rosie’s moonlighting gig with her aunt, a service that the councilman partook in. Or so they would have us to believe. So many possibilities going into the finale, is the councilman being set up? Is the mayor involved? Is the sleazy rich dude involved? Is the escort (holy Meg Manning sighting!) someone’s pawn? I still think the councilman is the final red herring and that his morals lacking consultant Jamie will turn out to be the killer. Also note to self: When you become absurdly rich, install lap pool with see-though bottom. You can download The Killing on iTunes.

Switched at Birth: Is it wrong to think the deaf chick has horrible taste in music? You can stream the show on Hulu. You can also download Switched At Birth on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: The show is back where belongs back in the summer. It is much more cumbersome watching it in the spring when there is actual quality programming to follow. And with the return we get yet another mystery of is the brother-in-law really alive and if not who is texting to add to the still unsolved answer of who is A. Ugg, it is going to be a long summer. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Friday Night Lights: Someone who watched the DirecTV run of the show recently asked me how many episodes are left in the season but I still cannot bring myself to look up to see what point in the season to answer because knowing just how many episodes of the show I have left is just too depressing. With the regular season, I fear that it is just a handful now. But about this episode.

Coach finally benched Vince, but about two games too late. I have a feeling we are going to get one final showdown between Coach and Pappa Vince and I think everyone know who will come up on top on that one. I wonder how much more screen time Julie will get this season because that looked like as close as a happy ending she will get. I’m guessing the return of Tim Riggins will get her screen time for the rest of the season. Which sadly I fear is not that far away. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Friday Night Lights on iTunes

Free Download of the Week: Pilot - The Nine Lives of Chloe King, Season 1 (iTunes): If you have not seen the new ABC Family show, may I suggest watch it while playing my Nine Lives of Chloe King Drinking Game.

New Album Release of the Week: Alpocalypse - “Weird Al” Yankovic

New DVD Release of the Week: Louie Season One

Video of the Week: On Monday’s installment of HBO’s summer documentary series, they dive into a serious subject with Sex Crimes Unit. And there is plenty to talk about when there is a sexual assult every two minutes in Ameriac. Check out the trailer below.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Falling Skies, Sunday (Tomorrow) at 9:00 on TNT: There have been a string of mediocre alien invasion movies and television shows lately, but Falling Skies comes from Steven Spielberg so it should be better than Skyline, right? Look out for a full review of the show tomorrow, unless of course we actually get invaded by aliens and they knock out the internet.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Around the Tubes - 6/17/11

I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Expedition Impossible, Flea Man, Turnaround King, Michelle Branch, Feherty, Wilfred, Die Hard, Jason Priestley, Covert Affairs, Miss USA, and Fashion Star.

- There may not be a better way to get my attention than send me an e-mail with the subject “Rekindle you love for Frogger!” Um, yes please. And you can to at Expedition Impossible, from Mark Burnett who brought us Survivor (and Pirate Master), premieres Thursday at 9:00. Check out a preview below:

- No, Flea Man is not a sequel to horror classic The Fly, the show follows Jimmy Kaplow as he goes to flea markets around the country to show potential buyers and sellers the value of their belongings and purchases. The show premieres tonight at 8:00 on the National Geographic Channel with back to back episodes. Look for two episodes for the next two Fridays. Check out a clip below:

Call Flea Deals

- Then on National Geographic this Sunday at 9 and 10 is Turnaround King where Grant Cardone takes struggling business and works to make them profitable like a gym and car dealership this week.

- Michelle Branch, who cracked the top ten on both of my lists of The Greatest Songs of the 00’s and Greatest Albums of the 00’s, will be on Livestream today at 4:30 in celebration of her new single Loud Music.

- New Show Alert: Feherty on the Golf Channel will share interviews with personalities of all genres including sports, politics, and entertainment and will naturally be hosted by sports personality David Feherty. Tune in June 21 at 9:00 for the premiere. Below is a preview:

- With the new FX comedy Wilfred premiering next Thursday, its sister station Fox Movie Channel will welcome the show’s co-executive producer, writer and Wilfred himself Jason Gann on Sunday’s episode of Life After Film School.

- Speaking of Fox Movie Channel, they are giving away the quadrilogy. All you have to do is follow@FoxMovieChannel. Then head over to to sign up for the sweepstakes.

- Jason Priestley is this week’s focus for Us Weekly’s 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me feature which includes “I always watch the Tour de France.”

- While we are making lists, Anne Dudek of Covert Affairs posted on USA Network’s Characters Approved blog where she describes eight things she considers Character Approved like The Presidential Range of the White Mountains.

- This Sunday Miss USA hits the big 6-0 when it hits NBC this Sunday at 9:00. But you can already watch the preliminary rounds over at

- Also coming to NBC soon is Jessica Simpson who signed onto Fashion Star as a mentor to aspiring designers that will also include Elle McPherson, a studio audience, music, dancers and models.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

First Impressions: The Nine Lives of Chloe King

The cast of The Nine Lives of Chloe King

Aw summer, a time where the bar is set so low shows like Pretty Little Liars and Franklin & Bash can be considered quality entertainment. Enter the latest offering from ABC Family The Nine Lives of Chloe King that hopes to vie for the top of your guilty pleasures list. The show naturally starts with the title character being tossed out a window to her death (spoiler alert to those who did not bother to look at the title: she lives with eight lives to spare) then morphing in one of the tell tale signs of poor writing, the “two days earlier” screen.

Is Chloe King the next Buffy Summers?In those two days we learn that Chloe is your typical sixteen year old wallflower with only two friends (one is so annoyingly peppy that it almost becomes entertaining, almost) and has never been kissed. Well that is until she gains unnatural balance. And excellent hearing. And claws. And heightened agility. And being able to draw the ire of dogs. And attract any guy who looks at her. Yep, she is turning into a cat, tail and all (the last one is a joke, maybe). Or technically a God descendant ancient race that has cat like features called the My (or Mi, I am too lazy to look up how it is supposed to be spelled).

I also think I have created my new drinking game: take a shot whenever the show takes elements from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A perky teen girl gets superpowers from some ancient prophecy. Shot. Raised by a single mother. Shot. She has two friends, a nerdy boy and girl that kind of like each other. Hangs out in bars despite being under-aged. Shot. Shot and shot and shot. She has a watcher (or two). Shot. There is a cute boy she cannot hook up with or bad things will happen. Shot. She dies and is brought back to life. Shot. The big problem is that the one thing that Chloe does not steal from Buffy is cleaver and witty banter. But it is summer and what better is there to do? Go outside in the high pollen count?

The Nine Lives of Chloe King airs Tuesdays at 9:00 on ABC Family. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Nine Lives of Chloe King on iTunes (which you can currently get for free).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lyrics Quiz: So Much to Say

Last week I reviewed So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band – 20 Years on the Road (see: You and Me and All Our Friends, Such a Happy Human Race) and so I thought I would take the song that inspired the title and put it though iTunes Genius function and here are the songs it suggested. As always leave your guesses, both artist and song title, in the comment section or e-mail me. If you are correct I will un-bold the lyric and give you credit. Please keep in mind the lyrics quiz is for entertainment purposes only so please only use your own meandering mind to guess them.

1. Cyrus Jones 1810-1913: made his great grandchild believe you could live to 103. 103 is forever when you’re just a little kid so Cyrus Jones lived forever. (Gravedigger - Dave Matthews; guessed by Angie)
2. They love to tell you stay inside the line. When something’s better on the other side. (No Such Thing - John Mayer; guessed by Angie)
3. Rainstorms keep me away from the norm. I gotta tell you something, this phenonamon, I had to put it in a song.
4. Coming down the world’s turned over. Angels fall without you there. I go on as you get colder. (Black Balloon - Goo Goo Dolls; guessed by Angie)
5. You live in a church where you sleep with voodoo dolls and you won’t give up the search for the ghosts in the halls. (Building a Mystery - Sarah mcLaughlin; guessed by Angie)
6. I don’t believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now. (Wonderwall - Oasis; guessed by Angie)
7. Now I love to feel that warm summer rain. Just to hear it fall is the sweetest sounding thing. And to see you it fall on your simple summer dress, it’s like heaven to me I must confess. Steal My Kisses - Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals; guessed by Angtie)
8. Won’t you kiss me on this midnight street, sweep me off my feet. Singing ain’t this life so sweet.
9. From the moment I wake, to the moment I sleep, I’ll be there by your side; just you try and stop me. I’ll be waiting in line, just to see if you care.

10. We’ve come a long, long way together through the hard times to the good, I have to celebrate you baby. (Praise You - Fatboy Slim; guesed by Angie)
11. Hipsters unite. Come align for the big fight to rock for you. But beware all those angels with their wings glued on.
12. I got a hole in me now. I have a scar I can talk about. She keeps a picture of me in her apartment in the city. (Bright Lights - Exile On Mainstream - Matchbox twenty; guessed by Angie)
13. But under skinned knees and skid marks, past the places where you used to learn, you howl and listen. Listen and wait for the echoes of angels who won’t return. (Everything You Want - Everything You Want - Vertical Horizan; guessed by Angie)
14. This is what you get, this is what you get, this is what you get when you mess with us.
15. When I talk about it, it carries on. Reasons only knew. When I talk about it, Aries or treasons all renew.
16. I left you heartbroken, but not until those very words were spoken. Has anybody ever made such a fool of you?
17. Oh sometimes, yeah it’s true, you really do abuse me. You get in a crowd of high class people and then you act real rude to me. But oh baby, baby, baby, baby when you love me I can’t get enough.
18. The world begins to disappear. The worst things come from inside here, all the kings men reappear.
19. I want to hold the hand inside you. I want to take a breath that's true. I look to you and I see nothing. I look to you to see the truth.

20. Do you remember your President Nixon? Do you remember the bill you have to pay? Or even yesterday? (Young Americans - David Bowie; guessed by Angie)
21. I don’t mind the sun sometimes, the images it shows. I can taste you on my lips and smell you in my clothes. 22. The dawn is breaking. A light shining through. You’re barely waking and I’m tangled up in you. (Collide - Howie Day; guessed by Angie)
23. I love myself I want you to love me. When I feel down I want you above me. I search myself I want you to find me. I forget myself I want you to remind me. (I Touch Myself - Divinyls; guessed by Angie)
24. Seen a million places, seen a million faces die. And I wonder who will walk with me when I get to Heaven.
25. She said I’m fine” won’t cover, up your trembling hands. There’s indecision when you know you ain’t got nothing left.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You Got a New Friend, I Got Homies

I have never actually tuned into The Voice because, even with the weirdly awesome selection processes, it still seemed to fall into the same dilemma that faces American Karaoke: mediocre singers singing crappy songs. But since NBC sends me e-mails ad-nauseam about the show I cherry pick some performances that catch my eye and there were really only three singers that caught my ear in the blind: Nakia, Xenia, and Dia Frampton (for those keeping track at home, that is one singer more in one season of The Voice than American Karaoke has produced in its ten seasons worth listening to).

But back to things that caught my eye in the e-mails, nothing piqued my interest like seeing that a chick was singing a Kanye West song. Dia had this breezy feel with unique phrasing during the blind auditions and battle round (well before her partner came in and made it a trainwreck) but I was not prepared when I clicked on the link to see her first live performance. Where all of the singers on the show are doing bland karaoke covers, Dia went all Jimi Hendrix on the Kanye track and took a decent song and perfected it (yes better than The Fray’s version and vastly superior than the unlistenable version that was on American Karaoke a couple seasons ago that I could only make it thirty second in befor sutting it off).

A big assist to Blake Shelton (who would have guessed before the show he would end up with the best team?) who suggested that Dia take a seat at the piano. I am sure her standing in front of a mic would have been good and all, but the piano took it to iconic status from the shoulder shimmy at the :30 mark to when she released of that channeled nervous energy from 1:22 to 1:45 when she takes her fingers off the keys. In two minutes she went from the shy one on the show to the gold standard for any singing competition.

The only complaint I can make is how do you cover Heartless and cut out the Dr. Evil verse? That would be singing Panama but skipping the park when you reach down in-between your legs… and pulling the seat back. Luckily it was returned for the studio version, but the studio version is not nearly as great as the live one. I am excited to see what she does next (assuming she makes it to the next round, but considering she was one of only two singers this week to crack the Top 200 iTunes music charts this week, she should be safe, although the other singer to chart was teammate Xenia; they should just ex Christina’s entire team to make sure Dia and Xenia advance). I may have to start to tune in live if only for the drinking game of taking a shot whenever a coach speaking in hyperbole which could get drunker than my Deadwood drinking game of taking a shot whenever Al Swearegen’s favorite word is spoken.

Week Seven: Dia Frampton Sings “Heartless”

As much that has been made about her Heartless performance, and truly deserved praise, Dia’s contribution during the Team Blake ode to Adam Lavine has gotten lost in the clamor. It was actually the first time on the show where she actually looked like she was having fun and even managed an applause when she walked on stage that rivaled her coach Blake Shelton when he descended down the steps. Even Xenia looked more comfortable than during her solo performance (which points to a poor song selection in Jesse J). Though I found it interested that MTV heavily censored This Love, but NBC let all the not so subtle innuendo flow during the song (and after, how cute was that Xenia clearly had no clue what “That’s what she said” means).

Week Seven: Team Blake Sings "This Love"

While much better than American Karaoke, drinking games aside I am still not sold in actually watching The Voice live, but here are some suggestions that could get me to tune in later.

1. More Professionals: There have been a lot of complaining how many of the contestants on The Voice have already had record contract; seven of the remaining singers by my count seven, almost half of the finale sixteen, have released albums. I say to those who make that complaint: screw you hippies. One of my many reasons why I have never watched American Karaoke is that I believe if you have talent, you would not need a reality show to score a record contract, and considering American Karaoke and its strict no professionals rule is currently batting two for nine, I seem to be right. And though talent may land you a record deal, it does not always equate into stardom, you still need the right marketing. So having a show with season veterans like Dia or Javier Colon who never manage to get that breakout hit, The Voice can be that great marketing tool to get their music to the masses and makes for a better show.

2. Rotate the Coaches: I know the second season has already announced and all for coaches will be back and sure Blake is surprisingly funny and Cee-Lo is unsurprisingly creepy, but it would keep the show fresher if you bring in newer coaches for a new perspective and other musical styles. That is not to say retire the coaches entirely, the show can bring them back periodically, just not back to back seasons. I really hate to think that a Gnarls Barkley would be pushed back because Cee-Lo is too busy with The Voice.

3. Longer Songs – Like mentioned above, how can you sing Heartless without including the Dr. Evil verse? It got cut because all the performances have to come in the two minute range. I understand keeping songs short during the blind audition, if you cannot wow a coach in two minutes, you probably never will, but they kept it to two minutes for the Battle Rounds (for non math majors that is just one minute per singer). Certainly they could trim from the human interest segment before the performance or the coach’s comments, speaking of which:

4. Stop it With Hyperbole: Cee-Lo called Dia’s performance, “probably the greatest rendition of a song I ever heard.” It was a great performance but seriously Cee-Lo, better than Jimi Hendrix’s version of Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower or Johnny Cash’s take on Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt? The hyperbole has gotten so out of control, I want to institute Blake’s buzzer for Xenia for whenever the coaches go over the top. And how about being critical when it is warranted? I do not want anyone to turn into Simon Cowell, who has no credentials to judge a singing competitions, the guy is just an insult comic to the point that dude might as well have Robert Smigel’s hand up his butt, but if you do not give the artists constructive criticism, they are not going to improve. And this is a competition, I want more bad blood between the coaches, right now it is just Christina vs. the boys, I want some teeth to come out even if it is just good natured.

5. Better Backing Band: At times the band house band sounds like they are recording Muzak (or dare I say the music for karaoke bars). I am not sure if it is the same musicians for every singer and that is wearing them thin, but the house band is not doing the singers much favors. Maybe more musicians to ease the burden, or maybe since many of the contestants are already in bands, let them play with them. And I know this probably would not come to fruition, but how about bringing in Cee-Lo’s buddy Danger Mouse in as musical director.

Parts of this article first published as The Voice Finds its Voice on Blogcritics.

Previewing Memphis Beat 2.x and Hawthorne 3.x

The cast of Memphis Beat

Tonight sees the return of the two TNT shows I just could not get in to. First up is Memphis Beat which a big disappointment to me because I had such high hopes for the show with Jason Lee coming right off of his great work on My Name Is Earl. And watching HBO’s Treme recently it became clear what was lacking on Memphis Beat and that is how you integrate a series into a show. On Treme New Orleans is its biggest character where Memphis tends to just be relegated to transition scenes and musical choices.

The good news is the first two episodes of the new season are better than the batch from the first one. The bad news is it is mostly because of the two guest star. Tonight starts off with the MPD hunting down a cop killer of an officer who may have been involved in some shady business that may have caused his death. This brings in Internal Affairs official (Beau Garrett, The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer) to butt heads, and other body parts, with Lee. As seen on The Closer, detectives and IA do not care for each other and it goes even further when Jason learns her dislike of Memphis cuisine. Next week sees the appearance of another former mustache enthusiast Thomas Lennon (Reno 911) as a consultant that Lee reluctantly bring in to help solve a cold case that just got hot again and as per usual with Lennon, hilarity ensues when starts getting on the detectives nerves.

Memphis Beat airs Tuesdays at 9:00 on TNT. You can stream recent episodes on You can also download Memphis Beat on iTunes.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Michael Vartan get getting married on Hawthorne

Following Memphis Beat is the premiere of the third season of Hawthorne. The new season starts up with a wedding that naturally goes bad when an accident interrupts the festivities sending everyone in attendance into action. But it is a brutal attack in the hospital’s parking lot that sets things in motion for the season and brings Marc Anthony back into the picture to solve the crime. I am legally obligated not to go any further, but it is a huge plot twist.

Hawthorne airs Tuesdays at 9:00 on TNT. You can also download HawthoRNe on iTunes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I Want My Music Television - 6/13/11

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Fast Lane - Bad Meets Evil

After his triumphant triumph of Recovery, Eminem has been quick for a follow up with Bad Meets Evil with his buddy, but I have to say if this were a rap battle I may have to give it to Royce the 5’9’’. But I got a little depressed at the chorus because it is hard not to wonder how better it would have been if Nate Dogg was still around to sing it.

Radio Message – R Kelly

It is a shame that the latest R. Kelly album is not getting as much love as it should be because it is easily his best non-Trapped in the Closet work in over a decade. Speaking of Trapped in the Closet, when are we going to get new chapters Kells, it has been over three years since the last one. I need to know what the package is.

Smarter - Eisley

There is no shortage of women done wrong songs in recent years, but this one from Eisley may be the most spiteful with each lyric more biting than the previous one. And the song gets better with every listen because of it.

My Ugly Mouth – Meg and Dia

I remember getting press releases from NBC about The Voice and checking song of the songs I liked being performed, one being Bubbly by Colbie Caillat. When I click on the link to see Dia Frampton I said to myself, “wait a second I know that girl, she’s from Meg and Dia.” I cannot say I was a big fan of the group’s emo rock chick music that ended up being popularized by Paramore. After Dia’s killer performance of Heartless last week I decide to reexamine the group and found this gem that they released earlier this year which is the catchiest pop song I have heard in a while with its Beatle-esque chorus and killer piano breakdown before the bridge which sees the sisters playfully sing against each other and I love the line “I am proud of my temper” which is ironic now that she has been dubbed The Quiet One on The Voice.

I also had a very lengthy post that I was going to post yesterday about The Voice, but I granted the first run somewhere else and they have taken long than I thought to publish it, so I have to wait until they post it first, hopefully I can repost it later today for a rare double post, but here is a little preview that I did not put in the post for the other site regarding Dia’s previous record deal and being on The Voice:

There have been a lot of complaining how many of the contestants on The Voice have already had record contract; seven of the remaining singers by my count seven, almost half of the finale sixteen, have released albums. I say to those who make that complaint: screw you hippies. One of my many reasons why I have never watched American Karaoke is that I believe if you have talent, you would not need a reality show to score a record contract, and considering American Karaoke and its strict no professionals rule is currently batting two for nine, I seem to be right. And though talent may land you a record deal, it does not always equate into stardom, you still need the right marketing. So having a show with season veterans like Dia or Javier Colon who never manage to get that breakout hit, The Voice can be that great marketing tool to get their music to the masses and makes for a better show.